Papua New Guinea is a unique island with unique coffee. Most of it is grown in the highlands by small farm holders, and processed in co-ops. Unlike the surrounding islands, the soil lends itself to a bean that is often nutty with some sweet citrus. It is high in sugar content, so it is very good at darker roasts and very versatile, which is why it is a Pure Bean staple as a single origin and in many of our blends.
Though the country of Papua New Guinea shares the Papua island with Indonesia on the Western half, the coffee from here is actually very distinct from the typical Indonesian bean—and the story of this nation is quite different as well. Compared to many other island nations nearby, PNG didn’t experience the same colonial intensity that led to poverty, starvation, and other forms of oppression. It also missed out on the coffee boom and rust bust of the late 1800’s that its neighbors endured.
It certainly had and still has a very complex geopolitical landscape with hundreds of native tribes that are occasionally at odds. The relative peace and lack of severe oppression in PNG doesn’t mean that the country hasn’t seen hard times—but the struggles have largely been internal. With over 800 languages spoken in the country by local tribes, it’s no wonder that there’s been a lot of conflict and struggle that’s caused ups and down within the coffee industry.
95% of coffee producers are small-holders with only a couple hectares of coffee farm, and most of these small family gardens also have other crops like bananas, papaya, and legumes alongside the coffee. As time goes on, some of PNG’s infrastructure has begun to collapse, making the movement of coffee more difficult and expensive for small farmers.
Only 10% of the population has access to the internet and only 55% have telephones. There is a small upside though: this lack of connectivity has also caused PNG coffee to be naturally grown without pesticides or other agro-chemicals, so there’s quite a bit of Certified Organic coffee from the country—though almost all coffee is grown organically even if it’s not certified.
Because of these internal challenges, PNG only produces 1% of the world’s coffee. And yet, it’s an income generator for a massive 40% of the country’s population. Coffee’s not just important culturally—it’s an economic driver.
- Flavor: Chocolate, Nutty, Tropical Fruit, Citrus
- Processing: Washed
- Main Growing Regions: Chivu, Eastern Highlands, Western Highlands
- Harvest: April to September